Wednesday, January 26, 2011

Upcoming talk, action in Vermont Xgr highlights "corporate personhood"

WILLIAMSTOWN, Mass. -- A scheduled Feb. 8 talk at the First Congregational Church in Williamstown and action last week in the Vermont Legislature highlight growing interest in the movement to redefine whether U.S. corporations should be "people" for legal purposes under the Constitution.

On Feb. 8, John Bonifaz, co-foudner of "Free Speech for People," and legal director of Voter Action, will speak on "Grassroots solutions to Citizens United v. Federal Election Commission." The free talk begins at 7:30 p.m. at the church.


Citizens United v Federal Election Commission was a landmark decision by the United States Supreme Court holding that corporate funding of independent political broadcasts in candidate elections cannot be limited under the First Amendment. The Court struck down a provision of the McCain-Feingold Act that prohibited all corporations, both for-profit and not-for-profit, and unions from broadcasting "electioneering communications." This was not a Supreme Court decision that left analysts on the fence. Opponents called the 5-4 vote that lifted restrictions on political donations a blow to free speech, and supporters declared it a long-overdue liberation from an unconstitutional gag order.

Bonifaz is a 1999 recipient of a MacArthur Foundation Fellowship. The Foundation award stated: "Bonifaz, a public interest lawyer, uses innovative litigation to reexamine campaign finance reform arguments typically debated on first amendment grounds. Through the National Voting Rights Institute, an organization he founded, Bonifaz recasts the legal arguments to focus on fourteenth amendment protections, challenging the relationship between money and politics."

The following are sponsors of this public conversation: Williams College Political Science Department, Williams Students for Social Justice, Williamstown Democratic Town Committee, Lanesborough Town Democratic Committee, Progressive Democrats of America, The Berkshire Brigades, he Center for Community Engagement, The League of Women Voters of Williamstown and The First Congregational Church, Williamstown.

Meanwhile, in Vermont last week, a state senator introduced a resolution which would withdraw rights of "corporate personhood" from corporations in Vermont. If such a measure were adopted by the state, it would force a constitutional challenge and put the issue again before the U.S. Supreme Court.

Here's a link to a story about Sen. Virginia Lyon's action:

Monday, January 24, 2011

Close Relationships Sometimes Mask Poor Communication - U.S. News & World Report

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Close Relationships Sometimes Mask Poor Communication - U.S. News & World Report

Close Relationships Sometimes Mask Poor Communication
U.S. News & World Report
... amorous advance instead," said study author Kenneth Savitsky, professor of psychology at Williams College in Williamstown, Mass., in the news release. ...

and more »

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Just because you're married doesn't mean you communicate - Chicago Sun-Times

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Just because you're married doesn't mean you communicate - Chicago Sun-Times

Just because you're married doesn't mean you communicate
Chicago Sun-Times
Keysar's colleague Kenneth Savitsky, professor of psychology at Williams College in Williamstown, Mass., devised an experiment resembling a parlor game to ...

and more »

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Berkshire Taconic to Sponsor Local Nonprofit for Program at Harvard Business School

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Berkshire Taconic to Sponsor Local Nonprofit for Program at Harvard Business School

Berkshire Taconic Community Foundation invites executive directors of nonprofit organizations in the Berkshire Taconic region to apply for a scholarship to attend a six-day intensive training program at the Harvard Business School in Boston. Under Berkshire Taconic's sponsorship, a selected director will attend "Strategic Perspectives in Nonprofit Management," a program designed to strengthen the capacity of nonprofit directors to lead their organizations effectively. The program will take place July 17–23, 2011. Tuesday, March 1, 2011 is the deadline for applications.

Berkshire Taconic began developing the sponsorship in 2008 after Jennifer Dowley, president of the foundation, attended the program herself. Berkshire Taconic has sponsored area nonprofit CEOs—Martin Ping of Hawthorne Valley Association, Gary Schiro of Hudson Valley Opera House, Anne Nemetz Carlson of Child Care of the Berkshires and Jeffrey Rovitz of Mental Health Association of Columbia-Greene Counties —to attend this week-long program over the last two summers.

Martin Ping said, "The strategic perspectives in Nonprofit Management at HBS exceeded my high expectations by a wide margin.  Every aspect of the week was world class and I consider myself extremely privileged to have been able to take part."

"I've been working professionally in the nonprofit world for some 26 years now and no workshop, class or experience has been half as valuable as my time spent at the SPNM Program at the business school," said 2010 attendee Gary Schiro.

The selected participant will attend the program along with 140 other nonprofit leaders, using the case–study method of learning. The program encompasses several themes, such as formulating strategy in complex environments, exploring market sensitivity, achieving internal alignment with strategic vision and leading change. The program is part of the Harvard Business School's Social Enterprise Initiative, which helps leaders in all sectors apply management skills to create social value. The School is providing a full scholarship, valued at $4,900.

Application forms and program brochures for the Strategic Perspectives in Nonprofit Management program are available online at

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Friday, January 21, 2011


From Angela Cardinali, who does PR for Berkshire Grown . . .

---------- Forwarded message ----------
Date: Fri, 21 Jan 2011 11:50:56 -0500
From: Angela Cardinali <>


GREAT BARRINGTON + WILLIAMSTOWN, Mass. (January 21, 2011) – In November and December of 2010, Berkshire Grown produced two distinct Holiday Farmers' Markets in two locations bridging the local food gap between north and south county during months when farmers' markets are not available in the region. Berkshire Grown, host of the four events, brought together more than 60 regional vendors in November and 70-plus vendors in December. Based on post-market surveys, Berkshire Grown facilitated an economic impact of more than $80,000 for participating vendors of the holiday markets combined.

Vendors at the four markets – two in Great Barrington and two in Williamstown – were thrilled with the outcome of the markets. "It was an extraordinary event, well organized, well advertised, well attended… a perfect day!" said Roberto Flores from Good Dogs Farm. David Bushika of Jaeschke's Fruit and Flowers commented: "A most pleasant and festive atmosphere indeed, and a terrific customer base."

More than 2,500 community members visited the two markets in November, the weekend before Thanksgiving, with more than 1,000 patrons in Great Barrington and 1,400-plus coming through the doors of the Williams College Towne Field House in Williamstown. The December markets attracted more than 2,000 people combined, with approximately 800 in Great Barrington and 1,200-plus in Williamstown. Vendor fees, Berkshire Grown-branded item sales, sponsorship from local supporters and a grant from Massachusetts Department of Agricultural Resources (MDAR) helped generate more than $7,000 for Berkshire Grown, which the organization needed to produce the markets.

"We're thrilled by the success of the Holiday Farmers' Markets," said Barbara Zheutlin, executive director of Berkshire Grown. "The markets generated more than $80,000 for local vendors because we provided an opportunity for farmers and local food producers to sell directly to community members at a fun event."

In support of Berkshire Grown, this event was sponsored by MDAR's Massachusetts Grown…and Fresher campaign, The Williams College Sustainable Food and Agriculture Program at the Zilkha Center for Environmental Initiatives, Mezze Restaurant Group, Mission Bar & Tapas/The Market, The Red Lion Inn, Storey Publishing and Slow Food of Western Massachusetts.

2011 Holiday Farmers' Markets

Due to the popularity and success of the three holiday market events in 2009 and 2010, Berkshire Grown plans to host similar markets in late fall of 2011. The events will take place in Williamstown and Great Barrington with markets scheduled for the weekend before Thanksgiving and the weekend before Christmas. More details will be announced in the coming months. Visit for additional details or call 413.528.0041.


Doug Paisley group's concert this Monday at 7:30pm at St Johns

Doug Paisley writes:

I wanted to let you know about a concert I'm singing in next Monday,
January 24 at 7:30PM at St John's church in Williamstown. Part of the
concert will be the debut of "Tenores di Altrove", a quartet of
adventurous singers from North Carolina, New York, and Williamstown.
For the past two years, we've been meeting every few months for
weekend-long rehearsals in order to focus on a repertoire of music in
the cantu a tenores style of folk polyphony from Sardinia. Here's a
sample of the style in case you've never heard it:

We'll also be singing some beautiful Renaissance Italian laude, songs
from Corsica, and excerpts from an ancient Roman mass that has many
Byzantine elements and was suppressed by the church for nearly a
thousand years due to a Roman prohibition in the ninth century.

The headliners for the concert are the Starry Mountain Trio,
performing a wide range of traditional music from around the United
States and abroad. The group's members are all lifelong musicians who
have toured extensively with the Vermont-based world-music ensembles
Northern Harmony and Village Harmony, where they received an
introduction to traditional songs and singing styles from around the
world. In addition, trio members have worked with Meredith Monk and
the Revels International, and have participated in international
recording projects of traditional Georgian music.

Their musical program features traditional songs from United States,
the British Isles, Corsica and the former Soviet Republic of Georgia,
as well as original compositions from the group's members. The
American repertoire includes shape-note songs (a traditional New
England song style), and haunting folk tunes from the Appalachians,
supplemented by traditional British ballads.

Hope you can make it!


PS: Please pass this along to anyone who might be interested. Thanks!

Williamstown Fights Biomass Permitting Process -

Williamstown, college granted intervenor status on Pownal biomass proposal

Williamstown, college granted intervenor status on Pownal biomass proposal

The Vermont Public Service Board has granted the town, Williams College and the Berkshire Regional Planning Commission intervenor status in the permitting of a proposed 29.5-megawatt biomass facility at the former Green Mountain Race Track in Pownal, Vt.

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Sunday, January 09, 2011

Williamstown Event - January 22, 2011 - House of Local History Free Lecture Series

Rita Watson

WHO: Williamstown House of Local History
WHAT: Dr. John Chandler, President Emeritus of Williams College, The Rise and Fall of Fraternities at Williams College
WHEN: Saturday, January 22, 2011 at 11:00 am
WHERE: Milne Public Library, 1095 Main Street, Williamstown, MA 01267
PHONE: 413-458-2160
WEB: www.williamstown

Wednesday, January 05, 2011

Panel: "Gender and Food: Production and Consumption," slated Jan. 13 at Williams College

WILLIAMSTOWN, Mass. -- A free public panel and discussion on gender, food, production and consumption is set for Thurs., Jan. 13 at 7 p.m. at Williams College in Griffin Hall.

Just two weeks ago Karen Washington, one of the panelists, was awarded the 2010 National Medal for Museum and Library Service by Michele Obama forher work on the NY Botanical Garden's Bronx Green-Up program. 

The event is being organized by college's Sustainable Food and Agriculture and Women's and Gender Studies programs.

Panelists will include:

-- Karen Washington, Member of Garden of Happiness, LaFamilia Verde Garden Coalition; Just Food City Farms Trainer; President of the NYC Community Garden Coalition; co-recipient of the 2010 National Medal for Museum and Library Service, awarded by Michelle Obama for her work on the NY
Botanical Garden's Bronx Green-Up program

-- Giovanna DiChiro, Ph.D., Research Associate in the Environmental Studies Department at Mount Holyoke College, co-editor of the volume Appropriating Technology: Vernacular Science and Social Power and Embodied Ecologies: Science, Politics, and Environmental Justice(forthcoming); co- founder of the Pioneer Valley Community Environmental Justice Coalition

-- Shannon Hayes, Ph.D. Author of Radical Homemakers: Reclaiming Domesticity from a Consumer Culture, TheGrassfed Gourmet, and The Farmer and the Grill; Co-owner, Sap Bush Hollow Farm, Warnerville, NY

-- Elizabeth Smith, co-founder of Caretaker Farm in Williamstown, MA, ran the NOFA-organic certifiedcommercial vegetable farm for 16 years. Converted to a CSA in 1990, Caretaker Farm provides vegetables, berries, herbs and flowers to 240 households from June â€" January and provides vegetables to
the Berkshire Food Project.

-- Lisa MacDougall, farmer/owner of Mighty Food Farm inPownal, VT, graduated from the UMass Amherst with a degree in plant, soil and insect sciences. In 2006 sheestablished Mighty Food Farm, a CSA now in its fifthgrowing season.

ANGELA CARDINALI | Marketing Communications + Strategic Planning | p: 413.458.9053 

Tuesday, January 04, 2011

The Williamstown Rural Lands Foundation (WRLF) announces the preservation of 117 of farmland and 12 acres of Hemlock Brook watershed land in Williamstown. (fwd)

Contact: Leslie Reed-Evans, Executive Director

Williamstown Rural Lands Foundation

Williamstown land preservation projects completed

The Williamstown Rural Lands Foundation (WRLF) announces the preservation of 117 of farmland and 12 acres of Hemlock Brook watershed land in Williamstown.

The WRLF worked with the Galusha family to facilitate the preservation of 117 acres of their farm, Fairfields Dairy, through the Commonwealth of Massachusetts' Agricultural Preservation Restriction (APR) program, a purchase of development rights program created almost 30 years ago to preserve the state's most productive farmland.

The Galusha family has been farmers in Williamstown for many generations. Their farm is the largest dairy operation in Williamstown and has an unusual percentage of soils classified as Prime Farmland and State Important for this area of Northern Berkshire, making it a strong candidate for protection through the APR program.

The farmland is located along Green River Road, one of Williamstown's most scenic roads, and Blair Road, has frontage along the Green River, and contributes significantly to the rural character of South Williamstown.

Leslie Reed-Evans, Executive Director of the Williamstown Rural Lands Foundation, states: "The WRLF is most grateful to the Galusha family for working to preserve their land, to the Commonwealth for its strong support of land preservation through programs such as the APR, and to the Williamstown community for their support of the Community Preservation grant to help make this project possible." The Fairfields Dairy preservation project was a high-priority one for the WRLF as part of their farmland protection program and their efforts to promote a viable local agricultural economy.

Richard Lamb and Holly Taylor donated 12 acres of land off Sweetbrook Road and adjacent to town-owned Margaret Lindley Park to the WRLF on December 29, 2010. Through this gift they are ensuring permanent public access to and preserving a significant section of Hemlock Brook. The land expands an area of open space that includes Town and privately owned conservation lands.

The property offers significant potential for expanding the Margaret Lindley Trail system, providing the public with the opportunity to enjoy an area not often visited. Large hemlock trees line the brook, a tributary of the Hoosic River. Protecting the clear mountain streams that feed the Hoosic has been a priority for the WRLF, which also owns 35 acres along the brook upstream, near the former Williams College Berlin Mountain ski area.

"The WRLF is most grateful to Richard and Holly for adding this scenic and important conservation property to the inventory of publicly accessible lands in Williamstown" says Reed-Evans. Work to improve the existing informal trails and an official dedication will take place in the summer of 2011.

The Williamstown Rural Lands Foundation is a non-profit, member-supported land conservation trust committed to preserving the rural New England character of Williamstown and the surrounding area, celebrating its 25th year in 2011. Its headquarters are located at Sheep Hill, a conservation property and former small family farm. The WRLF hosts educational programs and events at Sheep Hill and other properties throughout the year. For more information visit

Leslie Reed-Evans
Executive Director
Williamstown Rural Lands Foundation
Sheep Hill
671 Cold Spring Road
Williamstown, MA 01267

WRLF to feature speaker on South Africa, Thursday Janaury 20 7 PM at Sheep Hill

WILLIAMSTOWN, Mass. -- The Williamstown Rural Lands Foundation is sponsoring a program on conservation in South Africa at 7 PM on Thursday January 20, 2011 at Sheep Hill in Williamstown. Kim Rozell, WRLF member and volunteer, spent six months doing volunteer work within the South African National Parks system in their environmental education department. The main goal of this department is to reach "nearest neighbors" of the national parks and share resources with the schools, expose the beauty of the parks to those who would not otherwise have the opportunity and to provide education about environmental planning as well as land and animal management. There is also a park mandate to engage in open forums with the community.

Kim was assigned to Bontebok National Park in the Western Cape and was housed on the park itself. She was involved in programs reaching over 1000 students and 200 teachers, and the park participated in a photo shoot for an educational book for the lower grades while she was there.

Kim's talk will be illustrated with the photographs of the landscape and wildlife of this small but important South African National Park, and of the better-known parks she also visited while there.

The program is open to the public and free of charge. For more information call 458-2494 or email

The Williamstown Rural Lands Foundation is a non-profit member-supported land conservation trust with headquarters are located at Sheep Hill on Route 7 in Williamstown, approximately one mile south of the Williamstown rotary.

Leslie Reed-Evans
Executive Director
Williamstown Rural Lands Foundation
Sheep Hill
671 Cold Spring Road
Williamstown, MA 01267

Saturday, January 01, 2011

News from Cricket Creek Farm (fwd)

News from
Cricket Creek Farm

What's News...

Bakery Buzz
The Waiting Game

Bakery Buzz
Jamie's Choices this week:
Monday January 3rd: Whole Wheat Dill
Friday January 7th: Sourdough Rye
Muffins this week will be...
Monday: Oat Bran
Thursday: Blueberry
Friday: Chocolate Chip
Saturday: Pumpkin Walnut
Buttermilk Currant Scones will be on Wednesday and Saturday.
Friday's Breakfast Buns will be Orange Blossom.

It's Seven Grain's turn on Monday January 3rd (Whole Oat and Seven Grain trade weeks)

* The bakery won't be baking Saturday January 1st *